I know that my Christmas cookie posts are belated, but I am sure that someone is still baking! 🙂 I wish that I had more time to make so many new varieties of cookies but this was my only new cookie this year.
My daughter was begging for gingerbread girls and boys to be included in the Christmas cookie lineup! 🙂 They may have surpassed Raspberry Meringues as her favorite too. (She would have been in big trouble if she hadn’t loved them– they require quite a bit of work!) This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. They have a wonderful and deep gingerbread flavor from the addition of fresh ginger.
For the Cookies:
- 3 1/2 cups (or 14.87 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 T plus 1 tsp grated, peeled, fresh ginger
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
- Royal Icing, for decorating (recipe below)
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, and cloves; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, both sugars, and fresh ginger on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Beat in egg and molasses to combine. With mixer on low-speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated.
- Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and shape into flattened disks; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with the racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator, and let stand until slightly softened. (This will help keep the dough from cracking when rolled.) On a large piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour- or between two large pieces of plastic wrap- roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick. To prevent sticking while rolling on parchment, occasionally run a large offset spatula under dough, and add more flour. (I don’t find this necessary when using plastic wrap.) Stack cookie dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap. Freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes.
- Remove dough from freezer; working quickly, cut out with cookie cutters. (If the dough begins to soften too much, return to the freezer for a few minutes.) Using a wide metal spatula, transfer cutouts to prepared baking sheets; chill until firm, about 15 minutes. (I stack the cut cookie dough on a plastic wrap lined baking sheet, placing plastic wrap between layers; chill 15 minutes to overnight.)
- Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are crisp but not darkened, 7 to 8 minutes for small cutouts (on convection) and up to 15 minutes for large shapes. Transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired with Royal Icing, if using. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
For the Royal Icing:
- 1/4 pound confectioners sugar
- 1 1/4 T meringue powder
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, meringue powder, and a scant 2 T water on low-speed. Beat until mixture is fluffy yet dense, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Pipe onto cookies. Icing can be thinned for flooding, adding 1 tsp water at a time, if desired.